100 on t­­­he Y Hurricanes Swim Team

Big meet at the University of Maryland looms
Angelika Cruz is one of a number of “great” Hurricane coaches. Jack Graves

As the East Hampton High School varsity boys swimming team continues to sail along, so, too, does its de facto feeder program, the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter Hurricanes, which, at the midway point of the season, can boast of four national meet qualifiers thus far — Maggie Purcell, Ethan McCormac, Julia Brierley, and Sophia Swanson.

(Purcell, a Southamptoner, a four-time county champion, competed in an International Life Saving Federation tournament in New Zealand recently, along with Amanda Calabrese, a Stanford University student who lives in East Hampton, Isabella Swanson, a fellow East Hamptoner, and Chasen Dubs, a former East Hamptoner who lives now in Sarasota, Fla.) 

“We’re hoping to qualify male and female relay teams too,” said Tom Cohill, the Hurricanes’ head coach, at the Y the other day. “We’ve never had a male relay team go.”

Again, Cohill, whose Hurricane assistants include Craig Brierley, the boys and girls varsity coach, Angelika Cruz, Andrey Trigobovich, Sean Knight, Hank Oppenheimer, and Sean Crowley, has around 100 on the Hurricanes’ roster, ranging in age from 6 years old to 18.

“They are all great coaches,” he said of his assistants. The three seniors are Purcell, Caroline Oakland, and Isabella Swanson. “There are also some junior boys who are looking good,” he said. “Ethan, Ryan Bahel, Ryan Duryea, and Aidan Forst. And there are some really good freshmen.”

In a recent Holiday Invitational meet at the Flushing Y, Brierley, Ryan Duryea, Ethan McCormac, Purcell, Oakland, Sophia Swanson, Daisy Pitches, and Forst were among those doing particularly well. Purcell won the 200 breaststroke and placed second in the 200 individual medley, third in the 100 breaststroke, sixth in the 100 freestyle, and seventh in the 200 freestyle.

Pitches placed second in the 9-10 girls 100 backstroke, fifth in that division’s 50 backstroke, and seventh in the 50 breaststroke and 100 breaststroke.

McCormac placed seventh in the 50 freestyle and 10th in the 200 free, Brierley placed eighth in the 100 breaststroke, Oakland placed 10th in the 200 backstroke, and Swanson placed 13th in the 200 freestyle.

The Y nationals, in Greensboro, N.C., will be contested in the first week of April, and the Y state meet will be at the University of Buffalo over the March 16-18 weekend. Next for the Hurricanes will be a large regional meet at the University of Maryland this weekend. 

“We’ve had seven meets already, and have 10 left,” said Cohill, “at Eisenhower Park, in Flushing, in Westchester. . . . We’ve got 34 kids entered in 152 events at the University of Maryland meet. We’re hoping to have 50 to 60 going to Buffalo.”

The boys varsity and the younger Hurricane swimmers share the Y’s six lanes on weekday afternoons. The older Hurricanes begin swimming at 5.

In other swimming news, the East Hampton boys lost 91-83 at Hauppauge, the defending League II champion, a few days before Christmas. 

“Hauppauge lived up to its reputation, putting its best lineup against us,” Craig Brierley said in a report. “Our boys raced really well and, as usual, gave it their all. We were down by only 2 points going into the diving event [East Hampton has no divers], after which we trailed by 8. We were unable to catch them in the end.”

Fernando Menjura won the 200 freestyle, and the 200 freestyle relay team of Ryan Duryea, Thor Botero, Colin Harrison, and Menjura won as well.

East Hampton placed second (Joey Badilla, Ryan Duryea, Harrison, and Owen McCormac) and third (Luke Tyrell, Jack Duryea, Kevin Pineda, and Botero) in the 200 medley, relay; second (Badilla) and third (Ryan Duryea) in the 200 individual medley, and second (Owen McCormac) and third (Harrison) in the 50 free. 

Second (Menjura) and third (Badilla) in the 100 butterfly; second (Owen McCormac) and fourth (Botero) in the 100 free; third (Pineda) and fourth (Ryan Bahel) in the 500; third (Pineda) and fourth (Aidan Forst) in the 100 backstroke, and second (Jack Duryea) and fourth (Harrison) in the 100 breaststroke.

Hauppauge forwent 8 points in the final event, the 400 freestyle relay.

“The team’s record now stands at 3-2 over all, and 2-1 in League II,” Coach Brierley said. He added that Menjura, a freshman from Pierson High School in Sag Harbor, had been named swimmer of the meet. His 200 freestyle time of 1 minute and 57.84 seconds qualified him for the county meet. He, Forst, Ethan McCormac, Ryan Duryea, Badilla, Owen McCormac, Harrison, and Jack Duryea make up East Hampton’s county individual qualifiers thus far.